At first look, it appears to be a desk pen, one of those that fits into a holder on a round or rectangular base, and something we once saw on every banker’s desk. Were it not for the cap with its large and familiar pocket clip, you might not guess you were looking at a Lamy fountain pen—one that despite its shape and length is not a desk pen at all. This is the Lamy Joy Calligraphy Fountain Pen L15, designed by Wolfgang Fabian of Safari and AL-Star fame.
Lamy describes the Joy as, ‘a fountain pen that inspires beautiful, creative writing.’ Mmm…Wouldn’t that be nice? The implication is that it is designed for calligraphy, ‘…for those times when you want to convey an especially personal touch.’ I tend to think a letter or note derives its ‘personal’ feel from the fact of its individual and inky, non-digital, unprinted handwriting, whether it’s beautiful or not, but then, Lamy didn’t ask me to write their copy.
The Lamy Joy is a long quill-like pen measuring 7 inches capped, and 6.7 inches without the cap. It is surprisingly lightweight, made of shiny black plastic. The pocket clip is the same spring brass wire as that on the Safari and the AL-Star, but this time bright red. For visual balance, there is a small red accent on the top of the pen. The ink window is also a repeat of the Safari and AL-Star design. The nib is polished stainless steel with a chisel point, available in three sizes: 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm. The pen comes with a converter and one blue cartridge.
I have the 1.1 millimeter nib, and am quite pleased with the way it writes. It definitely writes a line that looks and feels like calligraphy. My guess is that a little experience with this pen will improve the look of the ‘handwriting’ or even calligraphy, if you want to call it that. My own experience has been with another kind of calligraphy using brushes, and fountain pen calligraphy is pretty ragged in these hands. Still, the Lamy Joy does give a sense of encouragement, and makes you think that with some practice a beautiful flow of inked words is just around the corner.